Julian Baginni in The Guardian:
Big thinkers make for big targets and they don't come much bigger, physically and intellectually, than Daniel Dennett. The tall, 71-year-old philosopher looks every inch the enthusiastic sailor he is, with his white beard and broad torso. With his mild-mannered, avuncular confidence, he comes across a man who could calmly fend off an assault or two. That's just as well, since as a leading cheerleader for Darwin and atheism, he is as much a bete noire for their opponents as a hero for their advocates.
Dennett is in London from his native Massachusetts talking to me about his latest book, Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking. It's a kind of greatest hits collection, pieced together from mainly previously published work to present both a summation of his central ideas about meaning, consciousness, evolution and free will, and to share some of the philosophical tools he has used to craft them. “After half a century in the field I've got some tricks of the trade which I'd like to talk about,” he says.
His critics agree, to the extent that they see him as a clever philosophical trickster. Yet time and again it seems the best way to understand Dennett is to understand why so many criticisms miss their targets.